Everyone wants a trainer or coach with a background in nutrition but nobody wants to pay for a nutrition program! We have the solution and we have boosted our annual revenue by more than $10,000 by implementing it. All it takes is a little forethought, planning, and a solid execution and you can add $10K or more to your annual revenue this year in your Boot Camp or Group Class program. Let’s do this!
It’s Not Rocket Science & It Doesn’t Take Big Money
If this is your first article from me then you have to understand that we are not a big program with a large marketing budget. Other than MailChimp and our scheduling and payment processing software, gymGO, we don’t have a marketing budget. We are just a husband and wife team that have found personal success in running a boot camp and nutrition program that allows us a pretty great lifestyle in one of the most competitive fitness markets in the world, San Diego. My goal is to save you from the failures we have had and share the successes that have built up our program over the last 5 years into something that we are very proud of.
Setting and achieving sales goals with nutrition was a struggle for us. My wife is a clinical and Holistic Nutritionist with a B.S. in Dietetics from Arizona State University and is a graduate of the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition. Although my wife, Rachel, has an impeccable ability to sell nutrition to nearly everybody that takes us up on our 15 minute complimentary nutrition appointment, after 3 years, nutrition hadn’t become a significant source of our income. Our clients wanted our advice but didn’t want to dig deep into their wallets to pay for the value of my wife’s time, so we had to adjust. As it turns out the answer was right in front of us all along.
It’s All About the Challenge
We have three programs that we sell either month-to-month or offer a discount on if a client commits to three months. We’ve made as much as $1,200 a month during peak months but have spent many months only making $200-$300 a month, needless to say, our nutrition program takes a lot of marketing and a lot of physical time to administer with very little return on our time compared to our fitness services.
We instituted our first challenge as a 6 week New Year’s, New You Challenge. It wasn’t just a nutrition challenge, we made it a body composition challenge that consisted of two body composition appointments and 6 weeks of customized menu’s. We went with body composition as a measuring stick over weight loss because it gives everyone an opportunity to win. Often times the men have an advantage in a weight loss challenge because we have a greater mass and can generally drop weight more quickly. For this reason we found that strictly a weight loss challenge lost a lot of women as potential participants because they didn’t think they could compete against the men. Success isn’t always built on how much you sold but is mostly based on realizing why it didn’t sell as well as it should have.
Our program is 90% women so we needed to make sure they felt that they were on an even playing field in order to sell to them as effectively as we sold to the men. What we have found is that even if you have a lot of weight to lose or just a little, there is only so much you can change your body composition in six weeks. You also have to accept that you are a boot camp program, body composition should be the better measuring stick because of the nature of a boot camp workout. If you are selling strictly weight loss then I would argue that you aren’t actually a true boot camp program.
Marketing Your Challenge
A Challenge gives you the opportunity to market to your entire email list, especially segmented to those that just tried an introductory special and never became a member or members that have been long lost to the sands of time. This gets me a double bang for my marketing buck as I require a membership or active package to participate. For instance if it’s $99 for the challenge and my membership is $59 a month then I’ll sell it to non-members for $179 to include the 6 weeks of boot camps.
A Challenge also keeps your current members motivated to keep their attendance up. When clients start to attend fewer than two times a week on average you are likely to lose them as a member. Put a challenge on to set new benchmarks for achievement, maintain interest in your program and keep them as members for longer. Give them a new goal past to achieve!
I create email segments; members and non-members, to improve my email open rates. I get a better email campaign open rate with my membership base but what I really want is to get everybody’s eyes on to create the best opportunity for success. I can’t really control how many non-members will actually open an email because that is the whim of my header and subject line and there is no one answer for that other than short and to the point. I do however, have a secret weapon to get all my current, active clients involved and that is my business management software, gymGO. It has a little marketing tool called Nimbot that I can program to send a push notification through my custom app, an email, as well as a text if I choose. Since they are current members they will have to at least acknowledge my message in order to close it. The reality is that most people want to participate and even if they don’t purchase the program they all get caught up in the competition because I send email updates to my whole list and bring it up during our warm ups in each workout. This creates a sort of vicarious interest that permeates your whole program.
Which brings me to my third marketing arm, letting everyone know about your challenge during the warmup and cool down. I find that simply saying something at the beginning and end of each boot camp garners the most interest and will actually improve your email open rate as people will go back and search for the email to sign up. I also like to have postcards printed up for people to take at the end of the boot camp with all the information on it that they need to go online and enter your challenge.
What Price Is Right?
We shoot for putting together a nutrition package that we are comfortable selling for $99, it seems to be a great target price with our active members of which there are around 200 from whom generally 20% will purchase, we will get another 3-5 non members purchasing the challenge as well, which gets us to an earnings of around $5000 per challenge.
If we earn that much then why don’t we do it all the time? We tried to do quarterly challenges thinking that if interest dropped off at least we’d still bring in around $3000 per challenge to get us well over our $10K goal for the year. However, challenge fatigue set in both for our clients and us. We have found that a challenge in November is great for keeping people interested pre holidays when attendance typically drops off, New Years is a no brainer, as well as a summer challenge that starts around May or June. Now maybe you can pull off all three but I recommend rotating between two challenges annually and shooting for a goal of $5000 per challenge. That’s an upsell to just 50 clients past and present. If you’ve been in business for more than 3 years you should have a history and client list big enough to accomplish this goal.
Put on two challenges each year with a lot of energy, great planning, and perfect execution and you will boost your nutrition sales by more than $10K as well as promote your current program and increase your regular, off challenge nutrition clients.